Airpods are popular and expensive. For that reason, scammers sell either fake Airpods or market products as Gen 2 Airpods when they are in fact Gen 1. Unfortunately, the Airpods’ appearance didn’t change between the two generations. As a matter of fact, the Gen 1 case will charge the Gen 2 AirPods and vise versa.
Naturally, there’s a difference in price between the two generations and some added functionality to the gen 2 Airpods. These were released in early 2019, and some models come with a wireless charging case.
Read on for a detailed guide that will help you verify that your Airpods are gen 2. We also have more tips and tricks for your Airpods here .
Check the Model Number
- Check the Model Number 
- Check the Model Number Using iPhone 
- Check Your Charging Case 
- Other Noteworthy Differences 
- Brand New Airpods 
- Frequently Asked Questions 
The most reliable way of finding out if your Airpods are gen 1 or 2 is checking the model number. This is a foolproof way of establishing your Airpods’ authenticity, and it isn’t hard to figure out.
The model number of your Airpods is located on the underside of each case and on each Airpod. As stated previously, the Gen 1 and Gen 2 Airpods look similar and can be charged in each others’ case. It’s a good idea to check each component for the appropriate model number.
The model numbers for each component correlate to their Generation as follows:
Gen 1 Airpods
Gen 2 Airpods
The newest in the lineup of mini bluetooth devices follow the same rule but is unmistakable compared to other two based on appearance alone.
Wireless Charging Case
If you’re prepared to pay premium price for a wireless charging case, be preapared to check that the serial number matches that of the case:
Lightning Charging Case
The Lightning Charging Case is pretty basic and requires a lightning cable to charge. It’s a great case because it’s interchangable between the two models:
Lastly, and just to reiterate the importance, checking each Airpod for it’s appropriate serial number is vital to your ability to use the Airpods. Unfortunately, a case that has mismatched Airpods is unable to pair. Your iPhone will throw a message that the Airpods are mismatched and will not allow you to pair them.
Another device like a Samsung device, won’t throw any error codes, it just won’t pair.
Check the Model Number Using iPhone
If you can’t see this small text, don’t despair. There’s an alternative method for checking the model number. But you’ll need your iOS device if you have one connected to your Airpods.
Follow these steps to retrieve the model number on your device:
- On your device, open the Settings menu, then choose the General section, and tap on About.
- Go through the list until you find the name of your AirPods (e.g. Lisa’s Airpods). Tap on the name.
- The manufacture information should appear, showing you the model number among other things.
Again, if you have the model number compare it to these numbers: Airpods (gen 1) have model numbers A1722 and A1523; Airpods (gen 2) have model numbers A2031 and A2032. If your model number doesn’t match any of these, you might have a fake set of Airpods – which happens a lot.
Therefore, always buy Airpods directly from Apple or their official resellers.
Check Your Charging Case
The charging cases for Airpods are interchangeable (you can charge gen 1 Airpods with the gen 2 charging case and vice versa). Again, the best way is to check the model number. The wireless charging case (gen 2) has the model number A1938.
They have a lightning connector at the bottom of the case which serves for plug-in charging. The status light is visible at the front of the case, while the model number is on the bottom side of the lid.
The lightning charging case (gen 1) has the model number A1602, which is also located on the bottom side of the lid. As is the lightning connector. However, the status light is visible inside the charging case.
Other Noteworthy Differences
The updated Gen 2 Airpods have many additional upgrades compared to the first Airpods. The switching time between connected devices is two times faster than with the original Airpods. They also have better voice and audio quality overall.
Also, they have an additional hour of talk time. Furthermore, they can either be voice-activated or double-tapped for Siri, Apple’s voice assistant. The latency is 30% lower than when using the original Airpods.
Most of the benefits of the Gen 2 Airpods feature come from the H1 chip. This chip enables better connectivity, audio quality, and reduces latency. The original Airpods had a W1 chip, which isn’t bad at all, but it can’t compete with the H1 chip.
Activating Siri on the old Airpods is somewhat harder because you need to double-tap one of your Airpods. Voice activation is the way of the future, as it feels more intuitive and simpler. Just say “Hey, Siri” and see if Siri activates. You can also use this to see if you have vanilla Airpods or Airpods gen 2.
Buying the wireless charging case for either of your Airpods is optional. But it’s costly, so you have to decide if this feature is worth the money. Definitely complain to Apple if you paid for the wireless case and got a regular one.
Brand New Airpods
Fans of Apple products generally like keeping track of new Apple inventions. If you’re a die-hard fan, and you liked the original Airpods, the 2nd gen Airpods are definitely for you. They have better call quality, battery life, reduced latency, etc.
The price difference is actually not that high unless you decide to grab a wireless charging case too. Assess your needs and make a decision yourself. Now you know the clear distinction between Airpods and Airpods gen 2.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I tell if my Airpods are real?
With three years on the market, Apple’s competitors and other tech companies have created some phenomenal looking knock-offs. Unfortunately, these hardly work the same or have the same functionality.
If you aren’t sure whether a set of Airpods are real or fake, visit the Apple warranty page  and type in the serial number. If no warranty information appears (even if it’s an expired warranty) the Airpods are fake.
What happens if I have two different generations of Airpods?
The two will still charge in the same case but you won’t be able to pair them with any devices. You can purchase one replacement Airpod from Apple if you need to.
Leave a comment below if you have any additional questions or queries.